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California Improving Coastal Access with New Beach Wheelchairs

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/11/2019, 5:15 PM

Eighteen coastal sites in California—from Clam Beach, where Highway 101 meets the Pacific in northern Arcata, to lively Ocean Beach in San Diego—are getting new wheelchairs and other mobility equipment designed to roll on sand. The state-run California Coastal Conservancy has approved a program to award grants to 11 different nonprofits so that they can purchase a total of 29 beach wheelchairs ...

Famous Thai Beach to Remain Closed Two More Years—at Least

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/13/2019, 4:00 PM

Thailand's Maya Bay, which played the titular locale in the 2000 Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach, is currently closed to tourists and will remain that way until at least 2021.  Officials first banned visitors from the scenic scoop of sand on the island of Koh Phi Phi Leh during the summer of 2018. The idea was to give the natural environment, particularly fragile underwater corals, a chance to ...

This Rolling Hotel Moves to Wherever the Surf's Up

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/09/2019, 7:15 PM

A new hotel makes traveling among the beaches of southwestern Portugal super-easy—because it's the hotel that does the traveling. The Truck Surf Hotel is just that: a cargo truck that has been converted into a surf hotel. The double-decker B&B on wheels features a kitchen, living area, bathroom, and large sliding doors on the lower level. Upstairs, hydraulic arms extend to make space for fiv...

New Club Med Openings: Sicily, the Great Wall, and More

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/13/2018, 2:30 PM

Club Med has embarked on an ambitious expansion project. The pioneer in all-inclusive resorts plans to add 15 new properties to its worldwide roster by the end of 2020, opening five resorts per year between now and then. Though you might associate Club Med with sunny spots in the Caribbean, major focuses of the company's latest efforts are Asia and the mountains of Europe. Openings scheduled fo...

Famous Thai Beach Closing to Tourists This Summer

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/14/2018, 10:15 PM

Thailand's Maya Bay is so pretty it played the paradise sought by Leonardo DiCaprio's character in the 2000 movie The Beach.  But tourists will have to stream that film—fair warning: it's terrible—to lay eyes on Maya Bay this summer. Authorities are closing the beach to visitors from June to September in an effort to combat environmental damage caused by over-tourism.  The fame that has resulted...

One U.S. Virgin Islands Resort Stands a Good Chance of Reopening First

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 09/15/2017, 5:15 PM

Back in July, it was announced that a new management company had taken over the unique tented community known as Cinnamon Bay on the gorgeous island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The news was greeted with enthusiasm by the tens of thousands of unpretentious, cost-conscious tourists who, over the years, have used large tents as their beachfront accommodations in St. John.   The new...

New Island on North Carolina Coast

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/29/2017, 4:00 AM

A new island has appeared off the coast of North Carolina—just in time for summer. Formed by powerful currents and storms over the past several months, the massive sandbar has emerged from the Atlantic Ocean near Cape Point on the state's Hatteras Island. (Photo: Instagram / @abcnews)  This newest addition to the Outer Banks has been dubbed Shelly Island—which is appropriate s...

10 Best U.S. Beaches in 2017, According to Dr. Beach

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/30/2017, 4:00 AM

Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Florida, is the best beach in the United States, according to this year's rankings compiled by sand and surf expert Dr. Beach. The good doctor knows what he's talking about. His real name is Stephen P. Leatherman, and he's the director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University in Miami. He rates beaches according to how soft the sa...

How to View Sea Turtles in Florida—Without Disturbing Them

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/13/2017, 4:00 AM

Spring is the season when sea turtles start showing up on Florida beaches to nest and lay eggs at night—an annual ritual that carries into the fall. Baby turtles hatch after 60 days or so, whereupon they totter adorably to the sea. Much can go wrong: Nesting requires darkness and quiet, and many of the little ones won't be strong enough to make it to the water or they'll get picked off by ...

Three Separate Shark Attacks in Three Hours on Florida Beach

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/20/2016, 4:00 AM

During a three-hour period on Sunday morning, three surfers were attacked by sharks in separate incidents on the same stretch of New Smyrna Beach in Florida. First, a 43-year-old man was bitten on the lower leg. Then, half an hour later, a 36-year-old man was bitten on the hands. Just two hours after that, a 16-year-old boy was bitten on the inner thigh. While the wounds of the first t...

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